Story A Day May continues apace. Whatever that means.
Steffie Cleans the Pool
by Marian Allen
Steffie shivered in the morning chill. Gray dawn was probably out there somewhere, but the lights of the city overwhelmed it. Steam rose from the swimming pool beyond the fence. She tugged the collar of her Pooling Resources coveralls closed while she unlocked the alley gate and toted the pool skimmer from her van.
The surface of the Greers’ pool was covered with autumn leaves. She knew there would be soggy ones, along with twigs, seed pods, and various what-have-yous, under that surface. She sighed and got a working grip on the handle of the skimmer. Cool as it was this morning, her hands were already sweating in their waterproof gloves.
And the voice she’d been waiting for all summer came from the shadows, female, tenor, impersonal:
“Eet’s a broglacovachi moornack, yais?”
“If you say so.” Steffie lifted the skimmer out and rested the net, coated with dead leaves, on the edge of the pool.
“Ni drop! Ni towrn!”
“Are you speaking English, or what?” Steffie didn’t turn, but she looked over her shoulder and sneered.
The woman stepped from the shadows, her eyes glinting in the pool’s security lights. “Eengleeshi weeth Rooscian eckamishkin.”
“If that’s a Russian accent, I’m a mongoose.” Steffie knew three things about the woman behind her: She was from Brazil, she tried to pass herself off as a Russian, and she fancied herself. Oh, four things: She was a spy. Five: She liked to hurt people. Liked it. Lots.
“Kip mashgrovin oon pwohl.”
Steffie kept her hands on the pole.
The woman stepped closer, her shoes scraping ever so faintly on the verge of the pool area.
Six things: She was 5’7″, so her diaphragm would be….
Steffie drove the pole of the pool skimmer back and into the false Russian’s midsection.
Grunts of surprise and pain sound the same in any language.
Steffie rolled the breathless woman into the water and shook the skimmed leaves in after her.
Back in the van, she called an anonymous tip in to the police about a prowler in the Greers’ back yard — they were away for the week, so there was no chance of their being connected with the spy’s body. She threw the phone into the street and rolled up the van window.
She was glad this assignment was over. Pooling Resources could join her other cover stories in oblivion, and good riddance. Wrangling that skimmer all day built some serious muscle.
All part of being an agent specializing in removing troublesome elements of the profession. Cleaning the gene pool, she reflected, is hard work.
This post is also part of Linda G. Hill’s weekly blog hop, One-Liner Wednesday. If you have a one-liner or just like them, follow this link.
MY PROMPTS TODAY: “Cleaning the gene pool is hard work.” — contributed by Pete Laberge. Also, the “Russian” accent on my What the Forecast app, which is an awesome app, but the updates have seriously compromised the Russian accent.